In a follow-up on the botulism outbreak in Sacramento County, California, The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) tested and confirmed that nacho cheese sauce that was sold at the Valley Oak Food and Fuel gas station in Walnut Grove, Sacramento County has tested positive for the toxin that causes botulism. The toxin found in the cheese sauce is the same type identified in patients for whom CDPH has results.
CDPH has received reports of 10 cases of botulism linked to this outbreak, and has learned that one patient has died. The nacho cheese sauce was removed from sale on May 5. CDPH believes there is no continuing risk to the public.
“While there are still unanswered questions about this outbreak, these tragic illnesses are important reminders to be vigilant about food safety,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “As we head into the summer barbecue season, both indoor and outdoor chefs need to be on guard against all foodborne illnesses.”
Foodborne botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botulism can be treated with antitoxin and supportive care, often in an intensive care unit. Botulism is fatal in about 5 percent of cases.
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